I am a blogger. For the longest time, I resisted putting a label on my passion for writing. I have a brother who is a sports journalist, and my mom can officially be referred to as a poet with the recent publishing of her first book of poems (Congrats!). I guess creative writing runs in the family. However, I do not deliver breaking news to anyone, I struggle with alliterations, and rhyming isn’t really my thing. So after over 70 articles covering various topics, I settled on the term blogger.
As the title of this article suggests, bloggers have a lot to do, and the work involved should not be underestimated. Sometimes I wish someone had told me this before I had the funny idea of starting a blog nearly three years ago, but there is no going back. The fact that there is always something to do is part of what makes blogging so fun. Whether blogging personally or professionally, the following five points are a part of every blogger’s life in some form or another.
1. The search for inspiration
I am constantly on the lookout for new things to write about, or ways to put a unique twist on existing material. As a result, I spend a lot of time reading articles and watching video from others in my areas of interest. Open eyes and ears to the surrounding environment are a great place to start for inspiration. I have also found that informative and entertaining articles can be written by taking every day experiences and applying them to a specific topic in the form of an analogy. This requires bloggers to experience something. It is not all about reading the work of others, but rather getting out from behind the computer and searching for inspiration.
I started the day not knowing what I was going to write about, and the first two hours were filled with several failed attempts. I went for a jog to clear my mind and came back with the idea for this article. About 3 minutes into my jog, I was looking forward to it being over. At the same time I was trying to come up with an idea for an article, and made the connection that a bloggers job is never over, but at least the jog would be done soon. I started thinking about how time consuming blogging is and all the different tasks associated with it. And there you have it: the idea for this article. Good thing I went for a run.
2. The research
Depending on the topic of a blog, a significant amount of research may need to be conducted to put a convincing article together. The content I create varies, but I spend much more time researching statistics and facts for my supply chain blog than I do for this personal blog. That being said, even for personal blogging purposes, a few supporting arguments can help establish a stronger sense of credibility.
Building trust with an audience hinges on the reliability and accuracy of the content being delivered. This reliability and accuracy can only be achieved by setting aside time for proper research, which includes double checking the facts and statistics being presented.
3. The writing
As mentioned in a previous article, there is a significant amount of pressure on bloggers to post regularly. This of course means that a large portion of time will be spent writing. However, without inspiration and a knack for research, posting regularly is very difficult and the infamous writer’s block could become an issue.
Sometimes it is best to just sit down and start writing. That is exactly what I did today. I did not throw away the work I did in the two hours leading up to my jog. Instead I saved what I wrote and plan on coming back to the ideas later. It could be that I never publish what I wrote in those couple of hours, but as a blogger I profited from the experience because it helped me organize my thoughts and led to some ideas for future articles.
4. The editing
Editing is time consuming. It is one of my least favorite parts about blogging. Firstly, there is self-editing. Going back with a critical eye after completing an article can prove quite beneficial. It is best to let the article sit for a few hours, or a day, then return with a critical eye, looking for spelling and grammar errors as well as any unclear sentences. Secondly, there is the outsourced editing. Depending on where I am publishing an article and what the topic is, I will often ask my wife or some other friend to read my work before I publish. Often times another set of eyes can be helpful for finding mistakes I may have overlooked.
Lastly, there is the editing of articles submitted by other authors on the blog or from guest bloggers. I find this type of editing to be the most challenging. Here it is important that the original author’s voice/style is not influenced by the changes the editor makes.
5. The sharing
The sharing of finished articles is my favorite part of blogging. I try to ask a question at the end of every article I write because it can lead to insightful discussions during the sharing process. By doing this, I am able to meet and learn from lots of experienced professionals.
The sharing aspect is not limited to my own work. If I read a helpful article from another blogger I will share it on the various social platforms. As a result, I spend a significant amount of time on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. sharing content and discussing trending topics. This is an important aspect for any blogger looking to establish a strong presence in a particular field.
Despite the significant amount of work associated with blogging, I am happy I decided to take the plunge. The search for inspiration, research, writing, editing and sharing of articles are all very time consuming. Even if a blogger manages to tackle these tasks efficiently, there are still several things that could be added to the “to-do” list:
– Link building / SEO
– Traffic Analysis / Monitoring
– Replying to comments / community management
– Create a newsletter
As you can see, a blogger always has something to do!
What tasks can be found on your blogger “to-do” list?